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The Press and The Christian W o r ld The PTL Following the very satisfactory yet challenging interview between represen tatives of the Pocket Testament League and General MacArthur of Japan, at the General’s own insistence the million of New Testaments for distribution is to be, not 1,000,000 but 10,000,000. An ini tial order has already been placed for the first edition of half a million Japa nese Gospels which are now being printed in Tokyo. Many feel that this is a “now- or-never opportunity.” 72nd Year The self-sacrificing yet exceedingly valuable work of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago will be featured at its 72nd Anniversary Rally, to be held at Chicago’s Stevens Hotel. At that time the new sound and color motion picture, “Out of the Night” depicting the min istry of the Mission will be shown. Last year over 8,000 men, women and service men professed to accept Christ there. .18 Months Radio TIFC of San Jose, Costa Rica, is the voice of the Latin American Mis sion. Eighteen months ago TIFC went on the air with a 1,000 watt RCA trans mitter. Most gratifying have been the reports of interest and results from the preaching of the gospel over this new channel. World-Wide Reading The American Bible Society announces its 6th Annual World-Wide Bible Read ing which is to begin on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, and end on Christ mas. The theme this year is “The Book to Live By,” and advertising material is to be mailed to over 120,000 pastors. Last year more than 12,000,000 book marks listing the Bible readings were distributed. Los Angeles Campaign Again this fall, under the sponsorship of the Christ for Greater Los Angeles group another tent meeting, featuring Rev. Billy Graham with Beverly Shea and Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Barrows, will be held. A big tent seating 6,000 has been secured, with many attractions including the best local musical and gospel radio stars. May it please God to begin in this campaign the revival which Southern California so desperately needs! Modern Missionary Journey On September 12th Dr. Louis T. Tal bot left Los Angeles by Pan-American Clipper to visit the mission fields where Biola graduates are laboring. The King’s Business will report these travels for Christ in the near future. O C T O B E R , 1 9 4 9
Official Publication of The Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Incorporated
Louis T. Talbot, D.D.
Betty Bruechert Managing Editor
William W. Orr, D.D.
Editor in Chief
Copyright, 1949, The King’s Business No part o f this magazine may be reproduced without permission. All Rights Reserved. Vol. 40 October, 1949 No. 10
CONTENTS Editorially Speaking .............................................................................................. 4 Dr. Talbot’s Question Box.................................................................................. 5 The Bible in the News, William W . O rr ........................................................ 6 The Church That Was Lukewarm, G. Coleman Luck ........................... 7 The Fathers of the Church, Chester J. Padgett .................................... 9 Young People, God Has the Answer, William W . O rr ........................ 11 The Case for Medical Missions, Don H illis ................................................ 13 Biola Family Circle . ; .............................................................................................. 14 Junior King’s Business, Martha S. Hooker ................................................ 15 What It Means to Become a Christian; Bible Quiz: Old Testament Books, Vernon H ow a rd ..................................................... 15 Seeing It Through, Douglas M . White .......................................................... 16 Journey for Missions .............................................................................................. 16 Young People’s Topics, Walter L. W ilson ................................................... 17 Book Reviews ............................................................................ •............................. 21 Sunday School Lessons, Homer A . Kent, Allison Arrowood ............... 22 Object Lessons, Elmer L. W ilder ...................................................................... 29 Picture Credits: Cover and Page 15, Eva Luoma, Hollidays Cove, West Virginia; Page 11, Philip Gendreau, N . Y . SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION—“ The King’s Business” is published monthy; $2.00, one year; $1.00, six month; 20 cents, single copy. Clubs of three or more at special rates. Write for details. Canadian and foreign subscriptions 25 cents extra. It requires one month for a change of address to become effective. Please send both old and new addresses. REMITTANCES—Payable in advance, should be made by bank draft, express, or post office money order payable to “ The King’s Business*” Date of expiration will show plainly on outside wrapper or cover of magazine. ADVERTISING—For information, address the Advertising Manager, 558 South Hope Street, Los Angeles 13, California. MANUSCRIPTS—“ The King’s Business” cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to manuscripts mailed to us for consideration. Entered as second-class matter November 7, 1938, at the Post Office at Los Angeles, Cali fornia, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in the Act of February 28, 1925, embodied in paragraph 4, section 538, P. L. and R., authorized October 1, 1918, and November 13, 1938. ADDRESS: The King's Business, 558 So. Hope St., Los Angeles 13, California. Page Three
with the ethical and spiritual teach ings of our prophets and seers. The mandates and privileges of a covenanted mission remain valid for the Jews in the future as in the past, and for Jews outside of Israel as well as inside: to battle for the spiritual vision of human life and to join with men of good will everywhere for the removal of all bar riers which bar the way of man to his divine patrimony.” It has long been a fact dear to the hearts of Bible students that the promise of God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 made certain that through his seed all families of the earth were to be blessed. Not only are the repatriated Jews to be blessed, but some day God intends to use them as a channel by which His immeasurable blessing can cover the earth with His grace. Surely this is another link in the chain of events which will not cease until the King of the Jews, who is also the King of kings, shall personallv sit upon David’s throne and with infinite benevo lence bring righteousness to pass from one .end of the earth to the other. How ever, ere that day dawns the nation of Israel will be spiritually transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ, their Messiah and Saviour. God Has a Wiil For Your Life O F tremendous value to all God’s children and particularly to Chris tian youth is the teaching that God has a definite, directive plan and purpose for their individual lives. What greater quest can there be than the ascertain ment and the fulfillment of this will? It is the goal of life; it is the key to suc cess. Do not think, however, that one must plead with God or by some means try to persuade Him to reveal His will unto His children. Rather, on the other hand, God stands ready, yes, apparently even anxiously awaits the opportunity, to make known His purpose for the in dividual life. The Scriptures are replete with suggestions that we trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and that we commit our way unto Him. The will of God is set before us in the beautiful example of our Lord’s life while here on earth. His “life verse” was, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” In contradis tinction to this, the sin of Satan is shown to be the more heinous because of his insistence upon doing his own will, and having his own way. How then may the will of God be learned? There is no hard and fast rule by which this may be answered. Yet the answer is not difficult for the will of God is always in line with the Word of God and the will of God for the child of God is administered by the Spirit of God. Let one commit himself with abso lute sincerity meanwhile maintaining an active trust and, then, we say reverently, it is God’s responsibility to work out His will in the life. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
different sins in the twenty-one lists. Perhaps there is room in today’s preaching for a re-emphasis of the way in which God hates sin. Perhaps there would be a corresponding reaction against sin in our national life if our ministers would stand up and boldly condemn it without fear or favor. This is something which merits prayerful meditation on the part of those who speak behind the sacred desk. Establishment o f the Kingdom of God A N interesting series of two articles dealing with the “pro” and “con” of the importance of Zionism appeared in the September issue of The Reader’s Digest. In keeping with its editorial pol icy, the Digest presented the first writer who argued that there was a difference between Judaism, or the religious be liefs of the Jews, and Zionism, which identified the religious beliefs with the repatriation of the ancient land of Israel. The second writer insisted that Juda ism was inseparably bound to Zionism and that such a union was not inconsist ent with a dual citizenship whereby Jews might both be loyal to Israel and to the country of their adoption. But of greater interest to Bible stu dents was the intimation that Zionism, or the reinvestment of the land, was only a step toward the unfolding of God’s great purpose, not only with the history of the Jews, but also with the entire world. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver declared himself as follows: “As far as the future of Judaism is concerned, the re-establishment of the state of Israel represents the fulfillment of only one of its tenets. It does not represent the fulfillment of the eternal spiritual mandates of prophetic Juda ism. Zionism sought to normalize the status of the Jewish people in the world, to give it what other peoples possess and what the Jewish people once pos sessed— a national center and an inter nationally recognized status in the fam ily of nations. “ But the profound meaning of Jewish history lies not in a re-established state but in Judaism. The destiny of our peo ple is linked with the progressive estab lishment of the Kingdom of God, of the good society on earth, in accordance
. Against Sin T HERE is an oft-repeated story about the late President Calvin Coolidge. Returning home from church one Sunday he was asked by his wife what was the subject of the morning sermon. He laconically replied, “ Sin!” “And what did he say about it?” “Oh, he was ‘agin’ it.” There is no doubt but that the Bible is “agin” sin. Sometimes the accusation is made against grace preachers that they lay too much stress upon the grace of God and not enough emphasis on the sinfulness of sin. Whether or not this be true, there is no question about the New Testament emphasis, where no less than twenty-one catalogs of sins are listed on its pages, and all condemned in no uncertain words. They may be divided into these cat egories: 7 which come from the natural heart and defile, Matt. 15:18-20); 13 which come from the natural heart and defile (Mark 7:21-23); 23 which bring the judgment of God (Rom. 1:29-32); 7 which Christians must not do (Rom. 13:13, 1 4 ); 6 with which Christians must not associate (1 Cor. 5 :9 -11 ); 10 which bar from the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9, 1 0 ); 11 from which Chris tians must turn away (2 Cor. 12:20, 2 1 ); 17 which bar from the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21), the works of the flesh; 9 in which the unsaved live and in which Christians must not live (Eph. 4:17-19); 9 which Christians must put away (Eph. 4:25, 28, 29, 3 1 ); 6 which must not be named as existing among Christians (Eph. 5:3, 4 ) ; 4 which bar from the kingdom of God and of Christ and which bring the wrath of God (Eph. 5:5, 6 ) ; 6 which Christians must mortify, and which bring the wrath of God (Col. 3: 5, 6 ) ; 6 which Christians must put off (Col. 3:8, 9 ) ; 14 for which the law was given (1 Tim. 1:9, 1 0 ); 19 from which Christians must turn away (2 Tim. 3 :1 -5 ); 9 from which Christians are saved (Tit. 3 :3 -5 ); 5 which Chris tians must lay aside (1 Pet. 2 :1 ) ; 7 sins of the flesh in which Christians used to live (1 Pet. 4 :2 -4 ); 8 which condemn to the lake of fire (Rev. 21: 8 ) ; 6 which bar from the tree of life and the holy city (Rev. 22:15). The total is 202. Some are found in more than one list, but there are 103 Page Four
What did Jesus mean in Matthew 19:17 when He said, “ Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, GodV? In this question the Lord Jesus was just raising the man’s estimate of Himself. He as much as said, “Why do you call me good, and stop there? Why do you not go on and give me the place that is rightfully mine, that is, that I am God?” I live a moral life and try to conform to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. Even though I do not make a pro fession of faith in Christ, why do I not stand as good a chance of getting to heaven as the man who says he is a Christian, and yet does things I would not think of doing? You are trying to get to heaven by your own efforts, and that can never be done according to God’s Word. He says “ There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). “Without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin (Heb. 9:22). These Scriptures will suffice to show you that God has plainly told us how to be saved— by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by faith alone. Read the New Testament prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you; as you read the Word of God under His direction you will be convinced and converted. “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” As for your neighbor who professes to be a Christian, and yet does questionable things, let me say that only he and God know the true state of his heart. He may be a hypocrite. He may be a true believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, yet a weak Christian. The Holy Spirit gives power over sin to all who claim the promises of God. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1 :9 ). Go to Him: confess your sins, and accept His finished redemption for eternal life. Read John 3:36 and John 5:24. Please explain Matthew 2U:19: “ Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days / ” Matthew 24 tells us of the great tribulation period on the earth, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” ; and the Lord is speaking in verse 19 of the distress that those will be in who are with child in those days. To a certain degree the same thing is true in any war zone in any age, but how much more it will be in that day when there shall be trouble, such as never was, “no, nor ever shall be” ! This verse does not say, “Work for your own salvation,” but “work out your own salvation.” It is your own salvation that you are to work out. The text is best explained when considered in connection with the verse which follows: “ For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.” The entire passage means that the Chris- O C T O B E R , 1 9 4 9 What is the meaning of Philippians 2:12, “ Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” ?
Dr. L. T. Talbot
tian is to manifest to the world his salvation by a godly and careful walk. This he cannot do in his own strength; he can do it only by the power of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4 :6 ). Is it right to give a part of our tithe to support radio pro grams? Certainly it is right to support any cause which is pro claiming the gospel of our crucified and risen Lord. One’s first responsibility “ as unto the Lord,” is to the body of believers in his own church who have pledged themselves to take care of certain missionary responsibilities, both at home and in the foreign field. It seems to me one does not need to give all of his tithe to one church, although we should be very careful in our giving lest we are deceived by those who are not true to the Word of God, and to the Christ of the Bible. I can think of no better way of getting the Word of God out to the world than through a true broadcast of the gospel. Why do we read in the Old Testament that God “repented” of certain things? When used concerning God,, “repent” in all its forms simply means, to man, God appears to change His mind. “Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world”1 (Acts 15:18). In reality it is man who changes, or repents, which acounts for the seeming “repentance” of God. Please explain John 5:37, “ Ye have neither seen his face at any time.” Did the Jews not hear God’s voice when Jesus was baptized, and “a voice from heaven” said, “ This is my be loved Son, in whom I am well pleased"? When the Lord Jesua told the Jews that they had not heard the Father’s “voice,” He used the term in the sense of other similar uses in Scripture: “Hear, and your soul shall live” ; and “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” The Jews did not accept the testimony of God from heaven; that was equivalent to not hearing, in the sense in which Christ used the term. * What will become of the Jewish nation after the millen nium? Where will they dwell? They will be in the new earth. Read Isaiah 66:22: “ For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.” National distinction among saved Gentile nations will pass, but Israel will remain the memorial nation. Pa 35 Pive
Growing ¿8 Each year The Christian Herald takes careful note of the total United States church population. The figures for 1948 reveal that the over-all gain was nearly 2,200,000 or 2.8%, which was a good deal more than the population gain of 1.7%. The complete total of church members was nearly 80,000,000, or better than 53% of all the citizens. However, before any shouting should be done over this report, it should be carefully noted that only 30% of the church population attend with any de gree of regularity. Free Ride In Angola, Indiana, Gailen Eatinger, an elder of the Church of Christ, placed his taxicab company at the free dis posal of anyone going to or from Ango la’s seven churches. On one hot Sunday 303 took advantage of free rides. For Mr. Eatinger, the project is paying off in three ways, he reports. First, his regular business is up 25% because of the people who want to show their gratitude. Second, many of the people who ride free put the fares into the church collection plate and, third, the morale of his drivers benefited as well. Span of Life <¿8 Based on the mortality figures for 1947, the average life expectancy of a child at birth is 66.8 years. This is al most two years greater than the aver age for 1939-41. Translating this into mortality rates there were 267,026 fewer deaths than under the 1940 mor tality rates, with pneumonia and influ enza suffering the sharpest defeat. This is a long way however from endless iife, with the Biblical three score years and ten still ruling. Let none deceive him self, however, for God’s law that today < is the day of salvation still holds abso lutely true. Winged Missionaries ¿8 Back in 1904, Jack Miner estab lished a bird sanctuary at Kingsville, Ontario. Soon after that a bird-banding scheme was begun with Mr. Miner «clamping scientific data on one side of the band and a Scripture verse on the other. Reports of missionaries in this area reveal that this unique idea in duces great religious feeling among the Indians and Eskimos. They believe that these messages are sent direct from God, which indeed they are. God's Bounty «3* Last reports indicate that United States farmers will harvest a volume of food and fiber close to the all-time top. Cotton in the Mississippi River Delta country was all of good quality and plentiful. Corn in Iowa was climbing to “elephant eye” levels. The golden fields of ripe grain of the Great Plains was fabulous in its proportions. From coast to coast, God’s bounty was overwhelm ingly apparent. Now let it not be for gotten that God expects gratitude to be expressed by those to whom ‘ He gives so largely. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
William W . Orr, D.D.
Five Months ■¿8 The United States Census Bureau reports that the national population is growing twice as fast as before the war. There is a present increase of 200,000 a month or a million every five months. It is expected that the United States population will reach a total of 150,000,- 000 by November 1. Alert churches and Sunday schools should take careful note and provide adequately for substantial and regular increases in Sunday school and church membership. 200 B.C. & Every once in a while unexpected confirmation is received regarding the historicity and authenticity of the Scrip ture. Recently a goatherd, poking around in a small cave near the Dead Sea, found eight rolls of ancient Hebrew texts in good condition. Two of the rolls were Old Testament sections dat ing to about 200 B.C. The rich find in cludes manuscripts from the Book of Isaiah and portion? of Genesis, Deuter onomy, Leviticus, Judges and Daniel. These are, by far, the earliest manu scripts extant and constitute a real vic tory for the conservative forces who hold to the genuineness of the Biblical accounts. Zion's Trouble An amazing amount of progress has been made in the new Jewish State of Israel,, which is only slightly larger than Connecticut. Yet there is still much to be accomplished. It seems that the pressing problem relates to the ab sorption of immigrants. Some arriving from other lands felt that the rigors of pioneering were too much and sought to return. The United States Consulate in Tel Aviv has some 10,000 applications for visas to the United States. However, the Jewish agency is working desper ately to provide shelter and jobs, and at least 80% of the immigrants have been shoved, somehow, into the new economy.
Dr. Lucinda Templin, principal of the Radford School for Girls at El Paso, Texas, is the head of a movement which promises to rock educational circles all over the world. Dr. Templin’s idea is that the pupils under her care must first learn how to be good wives and mothers, and to have good manners and culture. Without passing grades in these men tioned subjects, she flunks them. Dr. Templin has no use for progressive education, and her greatest problem is with the parents. With this idea of education the Scriptures are in sur prising agreement. The child’s first nec essity is to know how to live, and let it not be forgotten that the fear of the Lord is the beginning both of wisdom Most of you remember the Supreme Court decision in the Champaign, Illi nois case. Recently the National Edu cation Association checked up on the results of this Supreme Court decision. There were replies from 2,639 public school systems revealing that 73% had no religious instruction program and a sixth of these had abandoned their pro grams presumably on account of the Supreme Court decision. However, about 13% more schools were releasing more pupils for religious education than in 1940. Advertising Plus One of the large motion picture producers expects to release a picture with a Biblical theme, “ Sampson and Delilah”, next January. As something of an experiment, a deluge of advertis ing regarding this picture will flood the country. As one phase of this publicity Sunday schools will receive, presumably free, a 16 mm film taken from earlier religious epics, and with just enough of the advertising of the new one to implant the desire to see the entire pro duction. A rather sad thing is that many Sunday schools will accept this film. Page Six and knowledge. After A Year
Ik e Church That WaA ¿uketoarm
By G . Coleman Luck
Seventh and Final Message on the Churches of the Revelation W HAT is the spiritual temperature of your church? As we come to the last three churches of Asia Minor we find that their condition may be described in terms of heat and cold. Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) was cold — the coldness of death. Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) was warm — the warmth of “brotherly love.” Laodicea was lukewarm (Rev. 3:15, 16), and to the Lord this is the most objectionable condition of all. Let us examine in some detail the important epistle to this church in Laodicea— THE CHURCH THAT WAS LUKE WARM. 1. Address. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write— ” (Rev. 3:14a). Laodicea was situated in the Lycos valley in the Province of Phrygia and was founded by Antiochus II (261-246 B.C.) of Syria. It was a great and wealthy center of industry, especially noted for the fine black wool o f its sheep, and for its manufacture of medic inal powder for the eyes. When in 60 A.D. it was practically destroyed by an earthquake, Rome proffered aid in rebuild ing, but so wealthy and proud were its citizens that they refused this proffered aid and reconstructed the city en tirely at their own expense. There is a slight but significant difference in the way the Lord addresses this church from the expression He uses in the other letters. In each of the other epistles the formula “the church in........... ” is used. (Note— “ of Ephesus” found in Rev. 2:1 A. V. should really read “in Ephesus” as in the R. V .) But of Laodicea He uses the words “the church of the Laodiceans.” The church at Laodicea had ceased to be a true church of Christ and had become instead the church of the people. Laodicea means “the people’s rights.” This church was controlled by the people with Christ and His will left on the outside. This brings up the question as to what kind of an institution the church should be— an autocracy ruled by a bishop, an oligarchy ruled by the clergy, or a democracy ruled by the people? Regardless of the value of these types of government in the civil realm, none is satisfactory in the church. The true church is a theocracy— under the immediate direction of the living Christ Himself. Neither clergy nor people should rule, but Christ alone. 2. Description of the Lord. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God,” (verse 14b). Knowing that Christ was given no place at all in this church, it is interesting to note the way in which He describes Himself. He is “the Amen.” Probably most people think that amen means: “this is the end of my prayer,” but actually it means “verily” or “truly.” We place it at the end of our prayers as an affirmation that we have spoken truly and sincerely rather than hypocritically as the Pharisees did. “Amen is generally used as an adverb of assent or confirmation” (International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia). Christ is the Amen personified; He is ever true and all of God’s promises are confirmed in Him. “ For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Cor. 1:20). O C T O B E R , 1 9 4 9
He is “the faithful and true witness.” A witness is one who tells what he knows. One of the chief purposes of Christ’s coming to this earth was the work of His prophetic office— that He might witness to men and reveal to them the Heav enly Father. Surely, we can depend on His testimony. He said, “ Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go . . . I speak that which I have seen with my Father” (John 8:14, 38). How sad to find churches following the fallible teachings of men which contradict the Word of God, when they could be guided by His truth. To complete this description, Christ styles Himself as “the beginning of the creation of God.” The reference here is not to the original creation, for Christ, the Son of God, was Creator there and not a part, even though the first part, of that work. But there is another creation of which He through His Incarnation and Death has become the first Member, and that is the New' Creation. Each believer in Christ, at the New Birth, likewise becomes a member of this New Creation of which Christ is the Head. 3. Commendation of Good Works. None. Only' two of these seven churches have no good works to be commended by the Saviour— Sardis and Laodicea. 4. Complaint. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (verses 15, 16). Christ characterizes this church as lukewarm or tepid. The way to obtain luke warm water is to pour a lot of cold water on a little hot water. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states that the term is used “metaphorically of the condition of a soul wretchedly fluc tuating between a torpor and a fervor of love.” This condi tion is more obnoxious to our Lord than any other. If a man is not warm for Him it is better that he be cold, for then he may realize his condition and seek some remedy. Did you ever wake up in the night and find yourself not warm enough, but still not cold enough to get up and do anything about it? That is what it means to be lukewarm. Such a condition our Page Seven
Saviour finds positively nauseating; He says, “accordingly, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, before long I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Weymouth’s Trans lation). Above all things, do not be a lukewarm Christian. Paul is an excellent example of one who was once cold toward the Lord and later hot for Him, but never lukewarm. When be thought Jesus was an imposter he fought against Him; when he found that Jesus was the true Messiah he was imme diately heart and soul for Him. Christ can use a man like that. But there is no excuse for lukewarmness. Either Jesus Christ is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. 5. Exhortation. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and in creased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (verses 17, 18). Notice the striking contrast between the conception that these people had of their own condition, and their actual state as Christ, the Omniscient One, saw it. Because they had great worldly possessions, they thought they were rich. Christ said: “You are poor.” The Laodiceans possessed none of the true riches. All their wealth was on earth and would soon pass away. They had no treasure laid up in heaven. They felt that they were happy people because “increased with goods.” Christ said: “Thou art wretched and miserable.” They boasted that they had need of nothing. Christ said: “You are blind and naked.” It is clear that these people, though they pro fessed to be Christians, really knew nothing of the grace of God in Salvation. They were depending on themselves and their material wealth rather than on Christ. The wealthiest man in this world, if he lack Christ is the poorest beggar in God’s sight. O, that self-righteous sinners could really see their true condition! Then surely they would come in all humility to the only One who can save, and bring healing to the soul. Christ counsels these people to “buy” things that are really worthwhile. How can these things be “bought” ? Certainly not with the money of this world. Isaiah gives us the answer: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isa. 55:1). Three things Christ mentions as of superlative value: “Gold tried in the fire”— this is a symbol of the righteous ness of God. This righteousness is given as a gift to the one who believes on Christ. As we look at the suffering our Saviour endured to achieve Salvation we can truly see that this “gold” was indeed “tried in the fire.” Then He speaks of white raiment. Here as in Revelation 19:8 it is likely that this expression speaks of the godly lives of the redeemed ones. After receiving God’s righteousness through faith, we are to live by faith, and through the power of the Holy Spirit main tain godly lives for His glory. The third thing is eyesalve with which to anoint the eyes. The Laodiceans manufactured eyesalve to anoint the physical eyes, but they needed the divine eyesalve— the Holy Spirit— to anoint their spiritual eyes. All of these are precious possessions which Christ is ready to provide to us freely if we will but appropriate them through faith. 6. Threat. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (verse 19). How beautiful to see that the Lord loves even these lukewarm, nominal Chris tians. So He threatens them with rebuke and chastisement— not as a means of vengeance, but rather to awaken them if possible to their true condition. However chastisement can still" be averted if they will do two things: repent with regard to past errors, and be zealous for Christ henceforth. The root from which the word zealous is derived means “to boil.” Zealous is therefore in striking contrast to lukewarm. Christ wants boiling men—men who are on fire for Him. 7. Promise. “ Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man heaT my voice, and open the door, I will come in to Page Eight
him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verses 20-22). It should be carefully noted that this beautiful promise is to the individual. Even though Christ is shut out of this church, and selfishness and pride are enthroned, yet our Saviour is ready and waiting to have blessed communion with any individual who will open the door to Him. In fact He is pictured as waiting and knocking, earnestly seeking an en trance. While the primary picture here is that of Christ standing at the door of this unbelieving church, yet the familiar application of Christ standing at the door of the individual heart is equally appropriate. Before Christ can have an entrance to a church, He must have an entrance to the individual hearts of which the church is composed. To eat with a person is considered the closest type of fellowship. If you are ready to open your heart to Christ, He is ready to come in and to have the sweetest of spiritual communion with you. The overcomer is promised that he will some day sit with Christ on His throne, i.e., reign with Christ when, after His return, He sits on the throne of David as the promised King of Israel, and Lord of all the earth. Some make the serious error of assuming that Christ is now sitting on David’s throne in heaven and in this way is fulfilling the promises concerning the Messianic reign (Luke 1:32, 33, etc.). In fact this interpretation is a corner stone of the millennial position which denies that Christ will ever literally reign on the earth. But it is very evident that the fact that Christ now is sitting at the right hand of the Father does not by any means fulfill the many explicit promises of an earthly reign. The promise that Christ will reign on David’s throne has nothing to do with His heavenly session now, for David’s throne was ex clusively an earthly throne and never a heavenly one. Christ’s statement in verse 21 makes a clear distinction between the Father’s throne in heaven on which the Lord Jesus now sits, and His throne-— the throne of David on earth—where He will yet reign at His Second Coming. In this connection the words of Rev. A. R. Fausset in the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary are indeed cogent and deserve careful consideration: “ Two thrones are here men tioned, (1) His Father’s, upon which He now sits, and has sat since His ascension, after His victory over death, sin, the world; upon this none can sit save God, and the God-man Christ Jesus, for it the incommunicable prerogative of God alone (2) the throne which shall be peculiarly His as the once humbled and then glorified Son of man, to be set up over the whole earth (heretofore usurped by Satan) at His coming again; in this the victorious saints shall share (1 Cor. 6 :2 ). The transfigured elect Church shall with Christ' judge and reign over the nations in the flesh, and Israel the foremost of them; ministering blessings to them as angels were the Lord’s mediators of blessing and administrators of His government in settling up His throne in Israel at Sinai. This privilege of our high calling belongs exclusively to the present time whilst Satan reigns, when alone there is scope for victory (2 Tim. 2:11,12). When Satan shall be bound (ch. 20:4) there shall be no longer scope for it, for all on earth shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest. This, the grandest and crown ing promise, is placed at the end of all the seven addresses, to gather all in one. It also forms the link to the next part of the book, where the Lamb is introduced seated on His Father’s throne (ch. 4 :2 ,3 ; 5 :5 ,6 ). The Eastern throne is broader than ours, admitting others besides him who, as chief, oc cupies the centre.” Viewing Revelation 2 and 3 as a prophetic forecast of Church History, it is clear that Laodicea represents the faithless individual church of the last days, even as Phila delphia represents the faithful individual church. Sad to say there are today more and more churches like Laodicea and fewer and fewer churches like Philadelphia. However this should make the faithful redouble their efforts to serve the Lord and witness for Him in these perilous times. Let all those who “love His appearing” stand fast for Him and “fight the good fight” of faith. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH By Chester J. Padgett, Th.M. Member of the faculty of Bible Institute of Los Angeles The Contemporary Rise of Romanism
labor, agriculture, health and social wel fare; in city, state and national politics and in international diplomacy; among old-stock Americans, immigrant groups and racial minorities. Through a vast organization and by means of the press, radio and motion pictures, as well as through the patient work of the parish priest and the innumerable orders of nuns in schools and hospitals, the church is working night and day, year in and year out, in almost every community, toward an end which only the hierarchy sees clearly but which is of profound im portance to every Catholic and every American. That end involves a funda mental revision of the Constitution of the United States and a radical change in the character of American culture. “Today America includes Catholicism with other faiths and makes them equally at home. It includes them all, however, on Protestant terms. Protestants claim religious liberty for themselves and grant it to others, including Catholics. This element of religious liberty is funda mental to all other freedoms in Amer ican democracy. Roman Catholic doctrine and the Roman Catholic organization of power are committed to the radical mod ification of this basic freedom. The Ro man Catholic hierarchy has launched a program which will, if it succeeds, in clude other faiths in American culture only on Catholic terms. It is mobilizing powerful forces to move this nation toward a cultural unity in which the Roman Catholic Church will be dominant. No comparable unity of effort is visible in Protestantism to recover and maintain the responsibility which it once carried
P ROBABLY one of the momentous publishing events of the century is that of The Fathers of the Church, a proposed set of seventy-two volumes now in the process of translation and edition. An imposing array of Roman Catholic scholars are giving to the English-speak ing world the writings of approximately three hundred Fathers of the ancient Church. Many of these writings have never before been translated. Hoping to publish at least one volume a month for the next five years, the editors of The Fathers of the Church are making available to the interested student many of the most important patristic works, including writings of all the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Hermas of Rome, and frag ments from Papias). These works, to gether with the pen productions of most of the important authors in the Chris tian Church of the first seven centuries, will compose the completed project. Present Church leaders, Protestant as well as Roman Catholic, are loud in their praise of the proposed publications. Several of the volumes, already in print, have received wide-spread approval, and promise general enthusiastic reception. Critics commend the editors for their scholarly translations and the publishers for the excellent print and beautiful bindings. That the new translations are of tremendous value there can be little doubt. Historically the patristic writings will cast a flood of light on the internal and external condition of the ancient Church : they will indicate the formation of Christian doctrine; the development of non-conformist movements; the trans formation of the original Christian Sac raments (The Eucharist and Baptism) into something other than the original, and the addition of five other Sacra ments; the changes in the inner life and discipline of the Church from a demo cratic institution to a hierarchically con trolled spiritual despotism; and the inherent vitality of the Church to over come all odds and perpetuate itself in the face of seemingly insurmountable ob stacles. But the question comes, Is there any specific meaning attached to the new translations? Undoubtedly it is not mere chance that has made coincident the pub lication of The Fathers of the Church and the contemporary advance of Roman ism in the United States. One of the most important ecclesiastical historians of the present day intimates that just as the nineteenth century was a “ Prot estant century,” the twentieth century could very probably be a Roman Catholic century I1 O C T O B E R , 1 9 4 9
That Romanism is making rapid strides in her ambition to capture Amer ican culture is the thesis of a series of articles by Harold E. Fey, printed in The Christian Century ,2 and reprinted in pamphlet form under the title “Can Catholicism Win America?” In the in troduction of his study the author states: “All the forces which unite to create a cultural unity are capable of being diverted to serve the ends of the Roman Catholic Church- Many of them are being so used today.” After dealing with such subjects as “ Catholicism and the Worker,” “ Catholicism and the Press,” “ Catholicism and the Negro,” “ Catholicism Invades Rural America,” Mr. Fey concludes: “Here then stands the Roman Catholic Church, centered in Washington and covering the nation. Through its officially sponsored teaching it has avowed its intention to win Amer ica to obedience to Rome. Through the National Catholic Welfare Conference and in other ways the hierarchy has or ganized its forces in every important area of American life to achieve that purpose. From its center in the nation’s capital it is steadily carrying out its aims for family life, education, industry,
Rome and Authority- In order rightly to understand the deep significance attached to the new translations one must consider the Ro man Catholic view of the importance of the patristic writings. Rome insists that the writings of the Apostolic Fathers “echo genuine Apostolic teachings." The writings of the other Fathers of the Church up to the eighth century are equally revered. According to one Cath olic source “the unanimous acceptance of a doctrine by the Fathers makes it an article of faith; the unanimous rejection brands it a heresy. The Church recog nizes the Fathers as her mouthpieces.”8 As early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries the office of the episcopate (bishop) was looked upon as the preserver of Apostolic truth. This truth included not only the sacred canon but also the unwritten teachings of the Apostles as handed down through the Fathers. Very soon the authority of the bishops was central ized in the Church Council. It was in cumbent upon all Christians to adhere strictly to the pronouncements of the Councils upon pain of excommunication! The basic doctrine of the authority of tradition was formulated by the Coun cil of Chalcedon (A. D. 451) which ruled that “the doctrine of Catholic teaching is, that the body of publicly revealed doctrine has received no objective in crease since the days of the Apostles,” and “It is no change of doctrine when that which has always been held im plicitly becomes the subject of an ex plicit declaration.”4 Durjng the Middle Ages, the author itarian trend moved in the direction of the Roman pope. From the seventh cen tury he was generally accepted in the West as the supreme earthly spokesman for God. In a papal bull published Nov ember 18, 1302, Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed: “We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is essential to salva tion that every human creature subject himself to the Roman pontiff.”5 Thus the authority of the Roman Catholic Church rests upon the tradi tions of the Church passed from the Apostles to the Apostolic Fathers, from the Apostolic Fathers to their successors and the councils, and hence to the pope! Roots of Romanism in the Fathers It is true that the Fathers of the Church concurred in many of the doc trines that are peculiarly Roman Cath olic. We cannot deal with every vestige of Roman doctrine, but rather we single out one representative development, namely, that of the papal theory. When the New Testament was com pleted with the writings of the Apostle John (ca. A. D. 95) three permanent offices were recognized, viz., the elder, the deacon and the deaconess. Some fifty years later, a new office had arisen in the form of the episcopate. The devel opment of the office of the bishop may
for the character of American. society. Until such unity appears, the answer to the question, Can Catholicism Win America? is— Yes.” The reasons are not obscure for the increasing numerical and cultural gains of Romanism. For one thing there, seems to be an emergence of a new apprecia tion of the ancient and the medieval. During the preceding century this move ment on the Continent and the British Isles led to an idealizing of the cor porate Church. This trend in turn pre cipitated the exodus of scores of Angli can clergy out of the Establishment into Romanism. The most famous of these “deserters” was John Henry Newman, leader of the movement, who was later made a Cardinal in the Roman Church. The contemporary development of the back-to-beginnings trend is not difficult to understand. In times of stress and strain, of change and decay, it is natural that thinking men should long for per manence. The Roman Catholic Church with its claim of historicity and un broken continuity through the ages seems to offer the only concrete evidence of such permanence. Again, this is a totalitarian age. That the totalitarian philosophy of life is gaining rapid momentum, no observant person will deny. In this environment Romanism is at home. The modern ex pression of the totalitarian view of Rome is found in the Ultramontanist move ment of the latter half of the nineteenth century. The chief end behind this move ment, sparked by the Society of Jesus, was the establishment of the supremacy of the pope in all religious and moral matters. The climax came in 1870 when the Vatican Council decreed the doctrine of papal infallibility. 4 This is also a confused age. Amidst the babel of confusing voices in the moral and religious world, the Roman Church speaks with a tone of authority and a voice of conviction. The situation is very much different in modern Prot estantism. The seeker for spiritual sta bility coming to present-day Protestant ism may hear almost as many dis cordant interpretations of the Bible and life as there are churches in which to hear them. He either has his embryonic faith shattered by the disbelief of some, or he has his mind confused by the vari ations of others. In modern Romanism, however, the seeker will hear the same message in e v e r y Catholic Church whether it be in Los Angeles, Denver, or New York City. Thus the present general situation seems readily to lend itself to a twenti eth century Ultramontanism. The new translations of The Fathers of the Church will play ho small part in such a move ment.
be traced in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (martyred about A. D. 117), in his letter to the Church of Tralles, writes: “ For since ye are subject to the bishop as Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but ac cording to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order that by believing in His death ye may escape death. It is therefore necessary that just as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the pres bytery, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ . . . In like manner, let all rev erence the deacon as Jesus Christ, as also the bishop, who is the type of the Father, and the presbyters as the san hedrin of God and the assembly of the Apostles. Apart from these there is no Church.”6 (italics mine.) In another place Ignatius states: “ See that ye follow the bishop as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the pres byters as he would the Apostles; and reverence the deacons as a command ment of God. Without the bishop let no one do any of those things connected with the Church. Let that be deemed a proper eucharist which is administered either by the bishop or by him to whom he has intrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear there let also the multitude be, even as wherever Jesus Christ is there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to make an agape. But what soever he shall approve that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.”7 The “bishop” to whom Ignatius refers is the pastor of the local church. Thus the development of church organization by the first quarter of the second cen tury included the monarchical episcopate. The rule of the local church had passed from the New Testament type, viz., rule by a group of representative elders chosen by the congregation, to the spirit ual domination of a single bishop. During the Post-Nicene period (A. D. 325-590) the tendency toward hierarchy moved forward. The bishop of the larg est church in a metropolitan area as sumed the power of the local bishops in rural areas. By A.D. 325 the Metropoli tan Bishop exercised oversight in the ordination and placement of all bishops in his area. A further development took place by the middle of the fifth century with the recognition of the Patriarch who was the chief bishop in one of the five major ecclesiastical centers in the Empire, namely, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch (Syria), Constantinople and Rome. The tendency in the Church, especially in the West, had been to regard with special veneration the bishop at Rome. Before the close of the second century Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, taught that (Continued on Page 28) T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
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